They say moving home is one of the most stressful things a person can do. And here I am moving once more from one country to another. Except, I’m going home, leaving England for the cooler climes of Ireland and a new life in Derry, where I hope to remain at least for a few years and revel in the post-Brexit wonderland they’ve promised us.
My friends have started to make fun of me, asking when I’m going to find my ‘forever home’, and I’ve been starting to ask myself the same question. I’m probably a bit of a natural when it comes to moving, having moved around a lot as a child with my family, and when I went to university and later when I decided to go live in foreign lands. I’ve lived in Kenya and UAE. And now that I’m home there’s a sense of settling down and deeper breaths.
Travel broadens the mind and such experiences are a great strength. Delving into other cultures and ways of life without judgement or expectation can really make one see clearly their own culture and how ideas of nationalism and prejudice are futile endeavours.
Having returned home, I’ve also realised that there is something to be said for the eternally rooted resident who revels in stability and security.
My life has been a wave of fancy; I wanted to see a bit of the world and do different things, and I did. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself along the way, often letting danger and risk run through me as the illusory confidence of a western upbringing enrobed me.
However, I digress. Whatever awaits us on the other side of a journey, the actually machinations of moving are what makes it an ordeal that many of us rightfully fear.
The stress levels peak when there is a fear of having to leave items of vast importance behind. These items, maybe a trinket that was a gift from an old friend, or a hat that you won in a competition with your brother, may not be so important in the grand scheme of things, but they can become a part of our lives and therefore an integral part of who we are, which is a far more painful thing to be given up. But as with many objects that we find floating about our homes, they are not necessary for our daily lives.
It’s popular these days to clean one’s mind and one’s home of such objects and I’m of the belief that if you haven’t thought about said object in a long time then there is not much point in keeping that thing around. For me, items that have a personal reverence, that invoke good and beautiful memories from the past are the ones that I keep.
But there is a limit to such items and a fine line between something special and something not so much, which makes it harder to refine — and that is for each of us to decide. There’s no danger of my home becoming a hoarder’s paradise, not yet anyway. Although one question that has crossed my mind on many occasion throughout the move was how did I ever accrue so much junk?
It is such emotional attachments to items that make moving so difficult, as well as all the other issues related to such a move — will I be happy, will I find a job, will I make friends? All valid fears and ones that will be settled with time.
I for one, have similar feelings about being home and I fear that my travelling bug has not left me yet. However there’s nothing to stop me from satiating this pesky bug with adventures in this beautiful country. I’ll keep you posted.
Christina Curran is a freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.